An overly ambitious topic, one that can't be covered adequately in 144 pages, the size of this slight volume. Weiss'...

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An overly ambitious topic, one that can't be covered adequately in 144 pages, the size of this slight volume. Weiss' overview attempts to put the Latin American conflict into historical perspective. She effectively shows that the Reagan administration's policies in this region, despite the recent addition of anti-communist posturing, are simply the latest manifestation of an interventionist policy going back almost 200 years, and legitimized in the Monroe Doctrine. An abbreviated recounting of events in Latin America, which explains historical patterns of political violence, repressive authoritarian governments and military domination, helps readers to understand more fully the forces now at work. Weiss' technique is basically even-handed, telling first ""the view from the north"" and then ""the view from the south."" She tries not to take sides, but unfortunately this approach raises more questions than it answers. Important issues are often glossed over--most glaringly, her assertion that ""many people suspected"" that the overthrow and murder of Chile's Salvador Allende in 1973 ""was carried out with the approval of the CIA."" Weiss is hedging her bets here; given the abundant evidence that the CIA did more than simply ""approve"" the coup in Chile, this controversy deserves more discussion, especially since it can be seen as one of the more extreme examples of US interference in Latin America's internal affairs--the very point of her work. Recommended only as a supplemental text, for its historical summaries.

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1985

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 1985